Well that’s the end of 2008 – never to be seen again. On the whole I have had a very good year. I have caught plenty of fish and picked up in the pools regularly.
This year I have fished 108 matches (648 hours of fishing nearly one third of a year) and picked up in 75 of these matches. Included, was a run of 20 consecutive pick ups, followed by a run of 13 (unlucky).
However, I am aware that we should not stand still. Two comments made to me by anglers I highly respect have caused me to make some adjustments for 2009, and hopefully keep me in the running during 2009:
The first comment was made by my good friend Darren Gillman. The comment was made after the Sedges match on 9th July 2008 in which, Darren beat me in the Silvers - off the next peg by 11oz!
Darren pictured left with his ATWL 2005 Semi Final runners up catch of 37lb 7oz all Chub catch at Tunnel Barn Farm - I still haven't been paid for the loan of my catapult - £5 per hour I think we agreed!
1. Darren Gillman 48-0-0 peg 4
2. Mike Nicholls 47-05-0 peg 5
I had lost at least 5lb of Skimmers, put down by Darren as to using “too strong elastic”. I recognise that I do play the compromise dice; I like to think I can land a big double Carp as well as an 8oz Skimmer. So I have taken Darren’s comments on board and made up three top sets with lighter elastics (still dual core though!) in combination with the pull-a-bung system. I recently landed my first Carp at Stafford Moor on the pull-a-bung which weighed 7lb 4oz. I am amazed how much pressure you can put on the fish with these light elastics, I straightened the hook pulling too hard, which came detached in the landing net!! I am definitely going to go through a learning curve with this set up – one to watch for 2009.
My congratulation goes to Darren for winning the South West Angling Times Individual tile again in 2008. This makes it twice in four years. Well done matey, hope you make it two in a row.
The second comment was made by my long time friend (and friendly tackle dealer) Tony Rixon. He thinks I fish “too short” and miss out on additional fish (mainly Carp I think). I don’t fully agree with this as my usual comment back is “fish can swim”! However, when it comes to some corner pegs and the Landsend Fishery he is correct.
Tony pictured right with his 55lb runners up catch of Carp in the Angleloc semi final knock-out at Gold Valley between Avon Angling and Diawa Dorking, with John Raison (right) on the scales. We were beating Dorking until the last five minutes when Tommy Hillier landed a double figure Carp from the margins on a long float rod.
As my current pole, which was purchased in June 2003 was due for renewal, I decided to have a look at the current top of the range poles. After three months of testing I have just purchased a COLMIC 707 New Evolution (being superseded in 2009 by the 808, which will be made, on the same mandrel as the 707). It was a toss up between this and the COLMIC X5000. In my opinion (and many others) both these poles are better in most respects to either:
DIAWA Professional (this pole is better than the Airity!)
SENSAS 774 (my third choice)
The X5000 will be popular by those anglers who like to pull hard – I don’t think you can break this pole on a fish!! Colin Golding bought one – so no better test!
I chose the 707 as it had better balance than the X5000 at the extreme lengths – I can fish 16 metres all day with this pole. During a trial at Huntstrete on 23 Dec 08 I landed four carp 4lb, 6lb, 8lb and 10lb with ease (incidentally I also had 20lb of quality Skimmers – never lost one).
The 707 is made from patented HM 80 super high modulus carbon with Ultra-Light Aerospace Fibres (U.L.A.F.), the 707 New Evolution has been developed from the successful Match 707 pole. The technical improvements made to the original design have enabled us to increase the pole stiffness and reliability, especially when handling big fish, while keeping an excellent balance. For winter carp fishing on commercial fisheries and for fishing tubular elastics, we recommend using the Filler tip HM60 which will make your pole stiffer and more powerful. The pole comes with two mini extensions to reach the ideal length at 13.00, 14.50 m and 16 m. The Colmic Low Tension and Colmic Joint Line patented systems complete the features of this competition pole.
The low tension vastly improves pole shipping in damp conditions – it is often referred to by Italian anglers as the “fast pole”. When I first threw the pole forward it nearly shot out of my hands!!
If you are interested in any of the COLMIC poles or products speak to Tony at Avon Angling on 0179 517250 who can supply the full range at a price as good as anyone in the UK.
Finally: I leave you with this famous saying by the great Golfer Gary Player:
"The more I practice the luckier I get"
This is also very true with Angling. So get out more often.
"Best wishes for the new year" - lets hope for a warmer summer that 2008.